By Chris Lingebach

Kirk Cousins, potentially facing free agency for the third straight year, is clearly putting the ball in the Redskins’ court.

In a radio interview with Jim Rome Tuesday, the Redskins quarterback offered some revealing answers about how he foresees the next few months shaping up. The Redskins have between Feb. 20 and March 6 to determine whether or not to franchise tag Cousins again.

Asked what it’s like hearing so many people discuss his personal financial situation, Cousins said, “You don’t want to talk about money. I mean, that doesn’t get you anywhere. So I want to talk about winning football games and, yeah, it’s a business, but ultimately this decision going forward is going to be about winning games, and how do we do that best, and where can I do that best?”

“The Redskins have the first move with the tag deadline March 6,” he said, “and they can decide what they want to do and then I’ll react accordingly. But if they choose to tag me, I’ll be content to go forward in that route. I’m okay with that. I’ve shown I’m okay with that. But if they don’t, then, yeah, I’ve got to be active and go look at what’s the best option for me.”

“Kirk, I don’t for a second think that you’re being disingenuous,” Rome said. “But are you completely okay with that? Do you gotta prove yourself every single year?”

“Well, I don’t know that I see it as proving myself,” said Cousins. “I feel like for me I’m okay going year-to-year, even if I’ve already proven myself to them, and they’ve made it clear: ‘We believe in you. You’re our guy.’ They just don’t want to pay a dollar more than they have to, and so that’s really more the challenge, is coming to an agreement there. But they believe in me and I feel that. It’s just more about trying to get the right circumstances.”

Asked what’s most important to him, Cousins said, “It’s winning. I want to win. I’ve had an opportunity to earn a good living playing football. That box is checked, quote, unquote, and so I want to go win.

“And that can be Washington. It really can. But I want to do my research and look where the best option is and then make that decision. But that’s what I’ll be remembered for. That’s what’s gonna matter. In 30 years, if I want to come in The Jungle, it’s gonna be because I won.

Cousins was asked how he weighs playing for one team his entire career versus wondering if the grass is greener elsewhere.

“It’s certainly worth doing the research and gathering that information,” Cousins said. “Might as well. I mean, I’m a thorough guy, detailed guy in everything else I do. Might as well gather the information and then go from there.”

“But there’s no doubt,” he said. “The top quarterbacks in the league tend to stay with one team, tend to build that rapport with the community and with the team through their whole career and it’s a consistent city the whole time they play. And that’s certainly preferred, but not at the expense of winning. Which, I don’t…Washington, we can win.”

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter

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